interPLAY at Keyano and King

Outside of the one year that it was held up at the Thickwood Heights Community Centre (1996), the Fort McMurray interPLAY Festival rose from the pavement on Franklin Avenue between Hardin and Main Streets. For 17 of those 19 summers, it went up and came down in a magical flurry of activity on the second weekend in August.  One year we tried doing the Festival as part of the Heritage Day long weekend (2000) and another year we moved it to align with the Alberta Seniors Games (2003).  Over the past few days, the Events Wood Buffalo crew has been getting interPLAY on its feet in its new home on King Street at Keyano College and Composite High School.

This new location offers the one thing that the Franklin location did not - space, and loads of it.  The four-day celebration of the visual and performing arts has taken over the Theatre & Arts Centre parking lot at Keyano College, a portion of King Street, and the front lawn of the high school.

The Markeplace, bigger and better than ever, will stretch down King linking the TransAlta Mainstage area with the Syncrude Playland Giggle Stage.

The heart of the event will be in the abundant space offered by the huge parking lot with two performance stages, multiple food vendors, beverage garden (thanks to the Kinsmen and Kinettes!) and a street performer pitch.

It'll be very interesting to see the crowd that gathers for the various shows that will take place on the Mainstage.

Though it's not my cup of musical tea, Fozzy, with WWE star Chris Jericho, will likely gather one of the biggest crowds in the Festival's history.  I can promise that my 12 year old son, a wrestling nut, is crazy excited for this one.

I'm looking forward to the country show tonight.  Tim Hus is an amazing singer songwriter who brilliantly tells our western Canadian stories.  The Good Brothers are icons of Canadian Country Music, not to mention outstanding performers.  The first saw them in 1984 in the skating rink at Verigan, Saskatchewan.

The Mainstage is also the spot to enjoy some of the finest local talent we have to offer in Wood Buffalo with the Suncor Homegrown Talent Search, MIX 103.7 Kickin' Karaoke Contest and the KAOS Band Camp Superstars.

The list of things to see, experience and enjoy is as long as my arm.  In the words of Ben McCully from Country 93.3, "I dare you to see it all."

The program is available online so you can plan in advance.  Or, you can come down to the festival site and wing it like the rest of us!


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